A group set up to empower and raise the voices of women, girls and non-binary people in football has marked International Women’s Day.
Villa Bellas, which helps make Aston Villa FC more inclusive, invited former captain and current General Manager of Aston Villa Women Marisa Ewers; West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster and Victims’ Commissioner Nicky Brennan to Villa Park to celebrate the work it does in the community.
The group was set up to give supporters a voice and stamp out sexism, misogyny and other prejudices in the game.
Sarah Breslin, who founded Villa Bellas, said: “Our aim is to empower and raise the voices of women, girls and non-binary people in football and in particular, associated with Aston Villa Football Club.
“Our focus is on supporters, players, staff and the local community. We support inclusion and diversity and aim to combat sexism, misogyny and other prejudices throughout football. Football is for all and everyone should feel safe and welcome in the stands or on the pitch.
“In partnership with Her Game Too we are able to work with the wider football community at all levels and support the campaign in its aims and help deliver its strategy.
“It was fantastic to meet with Marisa, Simon and Nicky who are all equally passionate about ensuring football is for everyone.”
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster said: “It is vitally important that we celebrate International Women’s Day and it was a pleasure to visit Villa Park to hear of the wonderful work done by Villa Bellas.
“Football is a game for everyone and I call on everyone to #EmbraceEquity today and every day.”
Victims’ Commissioner Nicky Brennan added: “Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about inclusion in football.
“It was an absolute honour to meet with Sarah and Villa Bellas and mark International Women’s Day with them.
“They do fantastic work in the community representing voices that need to be heard and I would encourage everyone to check them out.”
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